Against Me! has come a long way since its inception as a one-piece anarcho-punk band in Gainesville, Florida back in the ‘90s. Six studio albums and a few lineup changes later, they’re still going strong and coming to St. Andrew’s Hall with supporting acts Tony Molina and Big Eyes, on May 11 in support of their latest album “Transgender Dysphoria Blues.”
The road to getting “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” out was a bumpy one. Released in January, it was in the works for quite some time. Written by frontwoman Laura Jane Grace, before coming out as transgender, it was described as a concept album about a transgender prostitute, but later turning out to be a bit more autobiographical than that. During the beginning stages of the album, longtime Against Me! bass player Andrew Seward left the band, and so did their drummer, Jay Weinberg, causing them to leave their spot on tour with Bad Religion.
The band kept on keeping on, though. The album was recorded with Grace on vocals, guitar, and bass, and James Bowman on guitar and backup vocals, with NOFX’s Fat Mike filling in on bass, and Angels and Airwaves alum Atom Willard on drums, and released on Total Treble Records, the band’s own label, despite a tree falling on the roof of their studio.
Prior to the release of “Transgender Dysphoria Blues,” the band offered a free digital download of the “True Trans EP” on their website last July, which included acoustic versions of “FUCKMYLIFE666” and “True Trans Soul Rebel.”
“This is definitely a true band-only from start to finish operation. And the fact that Laura produced it also had a lot to do with the way that it sounds, and the songs that are picked, and all that kind of stuff,” says Willard. “So it’s very much representative of what the band is, how the band sounds, and how the band wants to present itself.”